Book of Isaiah : Introduction to Isaiah 7-12GOD’S ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE OPPRESSED REMNANT


Paul J. Bucknell

Introduction to Isaiah 7-12

Chapters 1-12 can be considered a unit, but the two sub-sections (1-6, 7-12) clearly use separate approaches. Chapters 1-6 belong to Uzziah-Jotham’s reign while chapters 7-12 belong to the later age of King Ahaz. The messages are different.

In chapters 1-6 Isaiah rebukes the nation of God’s people for their sins. They were not to be surprised by judgment as if God had forgotten them, but on the contrary, they should expect its coming.

Chapters 7-12 describe Ahaz’s time. Judgment had crept up and already swallowed up the northern kingdom along with its capital Samaria. So although this second section assumes judgment, it is in this context God sets forth His encouragement and hope to Judah’s faithful. God is faithful, and there would be a remnant. The future existence of a remnant, however, first meant a thorough purge of Judah. This judgment, though sometimes very pronounced, should rightly be seen as the background of these chapters rather than its focus. Even though the sky be so vast and dark, our eyes naturally drift to the spots of light - the moon and stars.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 examines our faith and allows us to determine on which side we belong. Judgment is coming for their many sins. This will drastically affect everyone, but there is a beautiful hope.

A Messianic hope is spread before the faithful to grab hold of their attention as they march into judgment. Their children have hope seeded in their hearts. God has not only forsaken them, but He has also instilled hope.

King Ahaz wrongly persisted in his treaty and alliance with Assyria, but there would be a real hope for the believers who put their hope in God. Choose your hope!

Chapter 8

Chapter 8 brings realistic encouragement and direction to God’s faithful. The ones relying on Assyria to help them would suffer the same judgment as Assyria.

Those, however, who were expecting God’s judgment were few; they were clearly a minority. God challenges this minority to continue to fear Him and keep God’s Word as a basis for their actions and hopes. Immanuel is the hope of Israel and in those days of great darkness and temptation to quit, they can remember God’s special encouragement.

Chapter 9:1-7

Chapter 9:1-7 is separated from 9:8-10:4. The section 9:1-7 more clearly develops the future of God’s people. The places which first met with isolation and judgment would be the first to ‘recover’.

The reign of a new king would strengthen their country’s people to a glorious position. Even the Gentiles would somehow receive a portion of this glory. There would be no end to the increase of this peaceful government. David’s descendant would rule forever. Though a rather vague promise at the time, they could hope in the God who knows and plans the future. And we can rejoice in the reign of Jesus Christ!

Chapter 9:8-10:4

Section 9:8-10:4 reminds us not only of the great calamity that was coming, but the reasons it was coming and why it would be so severe. God is angry with the sin of His people. Their lifestyles were wholly independent from God their Maker and Leader.

A number of their sins are listed out as logs to be put in the fire. Each of the four sections conclude explaining why the judgment of their land and people is not yet suffice. God’s people dare not play with sin; the judgment would be to harsh. God will judge; false hopes are in vain.

Chapter 10:5-34

Chapter 10:5-34 portrays God as the source of comfort to the faithful. Judgment was sure but so was God’s comfort. God would still be near. He promised.

The consolation comes from looking at God. God who brought Assyria to accomplish His design, will also stop them at the proper time. God will destroy Assyria. Israel’s real comfort, though, is not seen in this judgment, but in the promise of a remnant.

Israel would survive! This would also be brought about by God. We get our comfort from God whether it is on how He deals with Assyria, their friend which became their enemy, or by promising to them that there would be a remnant.

Chapter 11:1-12:6

Chapter 11:1-12:6 delights our hearts with a greater glimpse of the beautiful kingdom God has established.

We see, first of all, the kingdom will be a very special because of its great king. Perfect trust and reliance in God is rewarded with a harmonious peace-loving state.

The four ‘then’ clauses reminded Israel of their future blessings. Though they were not desirous for them in their day, and yet the “then” indicates a certainty which delights the heart. The ‘root of Jesse’, which is Jesus Christ becomes the focus for the Gentiles who would be used to bring back the Jews. The fourth ‘then’ is appropriately two songs of praise and thanksgiving. As God led Israel safely out of Egypt, so these people in similar and wonderful ways would be gathered. Salvation will become everything to them. These hopes are partially realized today.

Book of Isaiah: Plan and Outline

Overview of the Book of Isaiah
Discussion on Ten Sections of Isaiah
Outline of Isaiah

Graphical Redemptive Chart of Isaiah
Light & Dark Illustrative Diagram

Background of the Book of Isaiah

A Historical Timeline of Isaiah

Isaiah and Judah's Chronology
Assyria's Relationship with Israel/Judah

Section Introduction & Background

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